KushConII: Speakers' photos, bios and info about Mason Tvert's pot-legalization kickoff

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Our Thursday preview of this weekend's massive KushConII event found spokeswoman Chery Shuman focusing on the gathering's seriousness. To that end, SAFER's Mason Tvert is using KushConII as a platform from which to launch his approach to 2012 pot legalization. Look below to get more info on that, as well as to see photos and profiles of many of the major speakers and a complete schedule of their appearances.

SAFER release:

Colorado's Largest Marijuana Reform Groups to Begin Discussing Statewide Legalization Campaign at Historic Marijuana Convention in Denver This Weekend

Coalition led by SAFER and Sensible Colorado will use KushCon -- the largest marijuana convention in history -- to begin building toward 2012 statewide ballot initiative

Groups to participate in convention press conference (FRIDAY at 3 p.m.) and "Colorado Political Power Panel" (SATURDAY at 11 a.m.) on the KushCon stage inside the Colorado Convention Center

DENVER -- A coalition of Colorado's largest marijuana policy reform organizations will be using KushCon, the largest marijuana-themed convention in history, to initiate its push toward a 2012 statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adults.

Leaders of the two organizations heading up the effort, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and Sensible Colorado, will be participating in the official KushCon press conference on Friday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m., as well as the "Colorado Political Power Panel" on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m., both of which will be held on the event's main stage inside the Colorado Convention Center.

"This weekend we are gearing up for an unprecedented two-year effort to legalize marijuana in Colorado come November 2012," said SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert. "There is more support and excitement in Colorado than ever before and KushCon presents an ideal opportunity to begin discussing our plans and building upon our current army of supporters and coalition members."

KushCon will draw tens of thousands of convention-goers and several hundred exhibitors from around the world to the Colorado Convention Center for the event that runs from this Friday through Sunday, December 17-19.

"Polling shows that half of likely voters in Colorado now support establishing a legal and regulated marijuana market for adults," Tvert said. "That puts Colorado at the forefront of the marijuana movement and explains why the world's largest marijuana convention is being held here.

"Denver was the first city in the nation to vote in favor of removing all penalties for marijuana possession, so it's fitting that Colorado will be the first state to do so, as well," Tvert said.

SAFER coordinated the successful 2005 and 2007 ballot initiatives in Denver that removed all city penalties for adult marijuana possession and designated it the city's lowest law enforcement priority, and it ran the statewide legalization initiative in Colorado in 2006 that received 41 percent of the vote. Sensible Colorado carried out the successful legalization initiative in Breckenridge and is widely known as the foremost authority on Colorado's state-regulated medical marijuana system.


Stephanie Bishop

Seattle Hempfest

To say we live in trying times is an understatement. Systems built with good intentions on honorable principles have been corrupted by greed. Our environment is dying. We no longer have the luxury of time or the comfort of complacency.

We no longer live in a world where we can depend on someone else to provide our only source of livelihood. It is up to each individual to discover their passion and follow it, developing a livelihood that sustains basic needs and allows an individual opportunity to improve the quality of life.

Each individual must relentlessly pursue truth & knowledge to develop a vision for the future. Tough analysis of what we have now is necessary if collectively humans are going to co-creatively design a sustainable future. We must change perception by providing facts and encourage creativity as we move forward.

I am wholeheartedly committed to knowing and teaching truth and believe that we must spend every day of our lives proving that Love is our greatest power. Sustainability honors life and I have committed myself to understanding exactly what that means for humanity.

Currently serving 3rd term on the Board of Directors for Seattle Hempfest as the Vending Director and as an account executive for HeartBrain Hemp.

Bret Bogue

Founder Ggeco University

Bret Bogue: was born in Tacoma, WA on May 10, 1970 to Barbara and Wayne Bogue. He was raised in Alaska and Washington. Bret has 2 sisters and a brother all younger than him. Bret had a good childhood and was able to travel more than most as a child. He is familiar with many different cultures and cuisines. As a teenager he had a passion for cooking so in 1987 he attended Clover Park Technical College where he earned his Culinary Arts degree. He is married to Jeanette and he has 4 children 3 girls and 1 boy.

Bret used cannabis as a youth and was always interested in the many different applications of marijuana. He read everything he could find on the subject and talked to anyone who had experience in the industry. He began experimenting with seeds to make better strains at the same time he was working on recipes for edibles. Then the unheard of happened to him in 1995 Bret Bogue was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 25. He underwent 33 experimental radiation treatments preformed in Tacoma, WA under the care of Dr. Dean Mastras of Tacoma Valley Radiation/Oncology in conjunction with Albany University, which paid for all medical costs in exchange for the right to study his tumor. He is the youngest person out of 34 people worldwide to have this type of cancer, malignant melanoma arising from eccrinespiradenoma and the only patient to survive. Today when you see Bret you can't help but notice his bald head, this is because of all the radiation treatments. His hair will never grow back. He is currently cancer free. He was determined before he got cancer to get the message out about all the good properties of cannabis and hemp then it became his passion in life.

Bret is the founder of GGECO University and currently teaches bud tendering, fertilization, light and dark times, cooking, cropping and plant tendering for GGECO University online cannabis college.

Bret is also a full time Consultant for Apothecary Consulting. He helps people/companies in all aspects of cultivation from designing a building to pest control.

Today Bret is one of the leading experts in medical cannabis breeding and cultivation. He has over twenty years of hands on experience and has developed some of the most well-known and award winning strains of medicinal cannabis in the world. Bret was the first North American to win the Cannabis cup in 2007 with his award winning strain Kaia Kush.

Bret and Apothecary Genetics Research are currently working with the top doctors and scientists to develop natural products to include as part of their daily dietary supplement and as a natural preventative medicine.

Bret continues to have a passion for teaching and assisting any individuals wanting information about medical cannabis or hemp.

Rob Corry, Attorney

Robert J. Corry, Jr. is a Denver-based civil rights and criminal defense attorney admitted to practice law in Colorado, California, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2010, "5280 Magazine" named Mr. Corry one of Denver's "50 Most Influential Powerbrokers" for his longstanding and successful efforts to legitimize medical marijuana and his leadership in the industry. He was named as Chairman of the Board of the Colorado Wellness Association, a medical marijuana trade group. He is the 2008 recipient of the SAFER/Sensible Colorado "Friend of Reform" Award for his work and activities in support of marijuana legal reform. In 2009, he obtained an injunction against the City of Centennial's ban on medical marijuana. In 2007 and again in 2009, Mr. Corry was lead counsel in successful litigation to defeat a five patient per caregiver limit, and other proposals that would have limited patient access to medical marijuana.

He has obtained a number of "not guilty" verdicts and dismissals in criminal prosecutions involving marijuana, and has obtained his clients' medical marijuana back from police after seizure. Notable cases include the 2009 jury acquittal of Jason Lauve for felony possession of over two pounds of medical marijuana for his own use, 2006 jury acquittal of Ryan Margenau for felony cultivation and felony possession with verbal physician advice, 2007 pretrial dismissal of Kevin Dickes felony cultivation for having 71 plants for his own use, and 2004 return of marijuana cultivation equipment to Dana May by the U.S. DEA, and other cases. He currently represents and consults with a number of dispensaries and caregivers involved with medical marijuana.

Mr. Corry was part of a legal team that successfully represented protestors at the 2008 Denver Democratic National Convention. In addition, Mr. Corry is a staunch advocate of protecting voter initiative rights. In 2008, he was a spokesman for the successful campaign to defeat Referendum O, a Colorado legislative proposal that sought to gut the ability of grassroots activists to amend state law through the initiative process. For this advocacy, he was awarded the John Lilburne Award from the Citizens in Charge Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Corry previously served as Majority Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and Constitution Subcommittee in Washington, D.C., and was a staff attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, California.

Mr. Corry earned his law degree from Stanford University, where he was named "Stanford Man of the Year" for his successful legal efforts to overturn the university's Speech Code. At Stanford, he served as President of the Stanford Federalist Society, Managing Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, a writer for the alternative student newspaper, and was the top vote-getter to represent the Stanford Law School in the Student Senate. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he served as elected student leader and was an active member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Anne M. Davis, Esq.

Executive Director of NORML New Jersey

Anne M. Davis, Esq. is the Executive Director of NORML New Jersey (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws); is a member of the National Legal Committee for NORML; and a founding member of the NORML Women's Alliance. Davis speaks at workshops and seminars nationally about cannabis law reform. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, Associated Press, London Times, Fox News, 101.5 radio and various local media. She has testified before the New Jersey legislature on marijuana policy. Davis has been recognized by the Associated Press as the state's leading expert on marijuana law. She is a forceful advocate and was selected as "Freedom Fighter of the Month" by High Times Magazine in November 2010.

Stephen DeAngelo


An inspired leader, Steve DeAngelo has almost four decades of activism and advocacy in the cannabis reform movement. His vision and leadership have been featured by news teams from around the globe including major news outlets in the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The media has featured Steve DeAngelo's landmark Harborside Health Center in their coverage in the emerging cannabis industry in California and nationwide for a reason. It is a place where safe access, compassionate and responsible use and lab tested high quality medicine is offered to patients in great need of relief from a wide range of medical conditions. Patients come first at Harborside.

Steve has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the BBC; Fortune Magazine and literally every major network news source in the country. His creation of a model medical cannabis dispensary and lifelong cannabis activism coupled with his extensive knowledge in this arena has made him one of the most respected speakers in the cannabis and hemp industries.

His activist education started early. Stephen DeAngelo was born in Philadelphia in 1958 and raised in Washington DC where his father worked for the Kennedy administration. Influenced by his parents involvement in the Civil Rights movement and his experience when his dad worked for the Peace Corps (1967 - 1969), the family returned to the states from India and the Vietnam War and its atrocities were prominent in the news. Feeling the turbulent signs of the times, he began skipping school to attend antiwar demonstrations. In 7th grade he organized the takeover of his school's gymnasium in solidarity with an antiwar demonstration. By the time he was a young teenager he was aware that his political dissent could very well result in going to jail or being shot. Nonetheless, that didn't stop Steve. At 16 years old he dropped out of school to join the Yippies, and was the key organizer of the annual July 4th marijuana Smoke-Ins in front of the White House.

Steve spent several years as a street activist, and then transitioned between activism and entrepreneurial endeavors. It wasn't easy. As he grew from a teenager to a young man in his twenties, he put the skills he learned as a street activist (event planning, stage management and promotions) to work in the music industry. He became an Independent concert promoter, nightclub manager and record producer. He soon had renovated two movie theaters and converted them to live music venues - again this model developed way before it's time. He played a key role in the rehabilitation of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, with the opening of the Beat Club and renovation of Ontario Theater from movies to live performances. To this day, movie theaters are being renovated and made in to music venues across the country. He was once again before his time. So is the way with leaders with vision.

In 1984 Steve complete his interrupted education, Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland in two and a half years. After graduation he opened the legendary Nuthouse, which High Times called a version of the famous Family Dog in San Francisco. During the first Bush administration, this proved to be a refuge for Washington D.C. cannabis activists and notables including Kunstler, Wavy Gravy and Jack Herer.

In 1986, Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, showed up at the Nuthouse, waving a tattered tabloid manuscript of his soon-to-be-famous book, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." Jack's book outlined the hidden history of the link between industrial hemp and marijuana, and the conspiracy to make both of them illegal. The Emperor deepened Steve's realization that cannabis was a good plant, not an evil plant. After reading it, he decided to focus his efforts on promoting the book's message far and wide. After helping Jack edit and publish the manuscript, Steve became a prime organizer of the first ever Hemp Museum, and Hemp Tour, which brought the news about hemp to hundreds of universities nationwide.

Displayed in that tour were balls of twine made from hemp, which college students found to be an excellent material for macramé jewelry, and began purchasing in ever growing quantities. Before long, Steve had completely exhausted the available supply of twine in the United States, so he traveled to Eastern Europe in search of a reliable supplier. That trip led to the 1990 founding of Ecolution, a pioneering company that manufactured hemp clothing and accessories, and exported them to retail stores in all 50 states and 21 foreign countries. This company again enabled Steve to cross-pollinate his extraordinary leadership and activism skills - and this helped shape Ecolution to grow into one of the most professional and mainstream U.S. Hemp companies in the country.

Steve sees hemp and cannabis as one issue, not two. He believes that the 1937 legislation that made cannabis illegal, was passed due to influence from corporate interests like the Hearst and DuPont Corporations, who saw hemp as a threat to their investments in timber and plastics.

In 1998, two years after California passed its landmark medical cannabis initiative, Steve played a key leadership role in the passage of Washington DC's medical cannabis initiative, Initiative 59. Despite winning with 69% of the vote, and in every single precinct in the city, the US Congress used its power to veto implementation of I-59. Shocked and disillusioned by this violation of majority rule, Steve decided to move to California where, unlike D.C., medical cannabis legislation was not subject to a Congressional veto. .

Steve arrived in California in 2000, and immersed himself in the local medical cannabis milieu. He was one of the original founding members of Americans for Safe Access, the premier advocacy group for medical cannabis patients. He wrote and produced "For Medical Use Only", a short documentary film; helped organize several legal cannabis gardens, and invented a new form of cannabis concentrate. All the while, he laid plans for a new type of medical cannabis dispensary. Steve got the chance to put his plans in action October of 2006, when he won a highly competitive RFP process, and was issued a medical cannabis dispensary license by the City of Oakland. Steve launched Harborside Health Center (HHC) to bring a new model of professionalism and integrity to the industry. Harborside quickly gained recognition for its free holistic care clinic, laboratory tested medicine, low-income care package program, and wide array of other patient services. This innovative approach generated widespread acceptance and notoriety with acclaim by the community, city council, and local law enforcement in Northern California and beyond. In 2007 Steve was involved the creation and development of Steep Hill Labs, California's premier medical cannabis analysis laboratory for safety screening and quality assurance.

As media coverage spread the word his exemplary not-for-profit business model and straightforward commitment he became inundated with requests to share his vision and business acumen. In response, he created "CannBe," a management and consulting firm which brings the A Team of medical cannabis professionals under one roof, and puts them at the service of existing and prospective dispensary operators. CannBe embraces the community-based model of medical cannabis access, with a focus on legal integrity and positive community relations.

"Out of the shadows and into the light" epitomizes Steve's mission. His work to expose the myths created about cannabis, and to promote the positive science that is starting to emerge about it, aims to enlighten the public on the many benefits of the cannabis plant.

This is an important time in history to empower the country to change its image and perception of cannabis. Steve DeAngelo and Haroborside Health Center are leading the way and on the edge of the ladder in discovering the many benefits of this amazing plant.

Deanna Gabriel

Plant Magic Inc.

Understanding Cannabis Medicine

Join Certified Clinical Herbalist, Deanna Gabriel for a discussion of the medicinal elements found in cannabis. A brief introduction to cannabis constituents will be given along with insight into the therapeutic use of a variety of cannabis preparations such as tinctures, topicals, edibles and smoke therapy.

Deanna Gabriel is a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist with a passion for educating others on the benefits of natural remedies and the creation of beautiful botanical medicines. She holds a BS in Biology, Public Relations and Earth Science and received her herbal training in Boulder, CO at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism where her curiosity about herbal medicine grew into an exciting way of life. Over the years Deanna has worked to deepen her understanding about the magic and artistry of herbal medicine making and herbal formulations. She brings this creative passion and talent into her herbal consulting and education company, Plant Magic Inc.

Deanna is currently an instructor at the Cannabis Therapy Institute, offering classes on Cannabis Therapy Fundamentals, Basic Clinical Skills and Research, and Cannabis Medicine Making.

Greta Gaines

Nashville Musician

NORML Women's Alliance

Greta Gaines is a newcomer to the movement of legalizing marijuana. Having spent the last 20 years immersed in the extreme sports and rock n roll world, however, she has been smoking and thinking about smoking pot for a very long time. As a musician, download favorites from iTunes such as the bong anthem "Wake Up Happy," "Cool Hand Luke" and "I'm High have all delved into Gaines's fascination with Cannabis. In fact she likes to think of herself as being one of those consistently putting the "Her" in "Herbal." For fun, when she can find the time, between mothering, music, touring, snowboarding and fly-fishing, Gaines spends time with her alter ego "Gigi Ganjay," Host of America's Premier Stoner Crafts and Low-Cal Snacks show that airs on www.CANNIBUZZ.com.

"The more I got into filming this ridiculous Gigi character, the more I began to think about and study marijuana. The books piled up by amazing dudes like Mitch Earlywine on marijuana as medicine. I watched every documentary I could rent from as far away as Finland and the more I studied the more indignant I became that this incredible, God giving, life saving plant could get my kids taken away from me. I got so mad I joined the NORML Women's Alliance, became president of Tennessee NORML and started giving fund raising concerts and speaking out. Speaking at the NORML conference (Portland, Oregon September 2010) on "Marijuana and Motherhood" was when I became an "activist" I guess. This is my mission now, I think, to spread the message that women are the key to the success of this movement. Music and Comedy are the easiest way to reach people sometimes...so we'll see where this takes me...hopefully everywhere but jail!"

Governor Gary Johnson

"Our America Initiative"

Gary Johnson is a Republican and serves as the Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative. He has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, lower taxes, winning the war on drug abuse, protection of civil liberties, revitalization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization.

He was born January 1, 1953 and attended the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque from 1971 to 1975, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While in college, Gary Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His successes in this area led to his own construction business, Big J Enterprises, which was founded in 1976. Johnson grew the company into a multi-million dollar corporation that employed over 1000 people in 1994. When he sold Big J in 1999, no employee lost his job and the company remains very successful to this day.

In 1994, Johnson was elected Governor of New Mexico despite having little political experience at the . He defeated the incumbent Democratic Governor Bruce King in the general election by 50% to 40% as well as a former Republican

Governor in the Republican primary election In 1998, Johnson was re-elected as governor, defeating Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez by a 55% to 45% margin.

Results. As Governor of New Mexico, Johnson was known for his common-sense business approach to governing. He eliminated New Mexico's budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in state government in half and privatized half of the state prisons. Johnson also shifted state Medicaid to managed care (which led to better healthcare by creating a statewide healthcare network that previously did not exist and which saved money) and reduced state employees by over 1000, with no firings. During his term, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax increase in the state's history. While in office, Governor Johnson vetoed 750 bills (which was more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at the time.) By New Mexico State Constitution, Gary Johnson could not run for a third consecutive term as governor. He currently lives in New Mexico and has remained very active, competing in numerous athletic competitions. He is an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist who abstains from alcohol. In 2003, he climbed Mount Everest. Johnson was raised Lutheran and throughout his life has ordered his life according to spiritual principles.

Gary Johnson has two grown children.

Doug Linkhart

Denver City Councilman At-Large & Mayoral Candidate

Mayoral candidate Doug Linkhart says, "The first issue is the economy, the second issue is the economy and, yes, the third issue is the economy." Linkhart believes in creating long-term economic prosperity and sustainability by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, improving our education system and opportunities for life-long learning, as well as developing an even richer quality of life for all. Supporters of the "Doug for Mayor" campaign believe he has the track record to do it.

Elected to the Denver City Council in 2003, Doug Linkhart serves as one of the city's two At- Large Council Members. As a Councilman who represents the entire city, Linkhart focuses his efforts on creating opportunities for youth and investing in our community.

Linkhart's accomplishments as a Councilman include creation of the Economic Prosperity Center, Bank on Denver project, Denver Youth Agenda, Age Matters Initiative, Crime Prevention & Control Commission, Be the Denver Difference program, Bridges to Work youth employment program and Global Denver web site. The Councilman serves as Co-Chair of the City Council's Business, Workforce & Sustainability Committee and recently served as President of the Colorado Municipal League.

Councilman Linkhart is proud to have proposed, and passed several ordinances; including an ordinance allowing for wind turbines and solar collectors.

Prior to his current tenure on City Council, Linkhart served for eight years in the Colorado State Senate and two years in the State House of Representatives. He also served as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Resource Center of Colorado, spent 12 years as an economic consultant and served as a Presidential Management Intern with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Vivan McPeak

Seattle Hempfest

Vivian McPeak is a Pacific Northwest based musician and social justice activist. As the executive director of the world's largest cannabis policy reform rally, the Seattle Hempfest, McPeak has helped influenced Pacific Northwest cannabis policies. A grandfather of two, McPeak resides in Seattle with his dog, Nugget, and cat, Gooey. In 1989, McPeak founded the Seattle Crisis Resource Directory, which still serves the community and can be found at seattlecrisis.org.

Dr. Robert J. Melameda, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert J. Melamede, Ph.D., Program Administrator, is the President/CEO of Cannabis Science, is a research scientist and an educator. Dr. Melamede is a published professor who has taught at New York Medical College, University of Vermont and the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He specializes in the fields of base excision DNA repair, free radicals, the endocannabinoid system an how far from equilibrium thermodynamics explains the physics of life and the unique role that cannabinoids play as anti-aging compounds that promote health. Dr. Melamede is one of the rare scientist activists who through political activities and education has helped provide the underlying scientific framework in support of medical marijuana. More recently, Dr. Melamede is CEO and president of the publicly traded company Cannabis Science (CBIS). Cannabis Science is devoted to bringing oral cannabis-based medicines through the FDA. They are in particular focusing on the use of oral cannabis extracts to treat veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD.

Ed Rosenthal

"Growing With Ed"

Quick Trading Company

Ed Rosenthal is recognized worldwide as a leading authority on marijuana. In his more than 30 years as the "guru of ganja," he has written or edited more than a dozen books about marijuana cultivation and social policy that cumulatively have sold more than one million copies. One of his books on marijuana cultivation is the only book of its type to be reviewed by the New York Times. He was one of the original American writers to travel to Holland, bringing European knowledge and sophistication about cannabis to the US through his books and columns. Rosenthal currently teaches horticulture at Oaksterdam University, the leading trade school for the cannabis industry. His classes teach how to use the latest equipment along with lessons for the best growing techniques.

Rosenthal views marijuana law as a crucial social issue. Ed has served as an expert witness on marijuana cultivation in federal and state trials and has been very active in promoting and developing policies of civil regulation for marijuana. His commentary on issues such as Proposition 19... The legalize, tax and regulate Cannabis bill on the 2010 California ballot... can be viewed on his blog:www.edrosenthal.com

In 2003 Rosenthal was tried in Federal Court for cultivation. He was convicted by a jury that was not allowed to hear that he was deputized by the City of Oakland to provide marijuana for patients - an omission that later caused his jurors to denounce their verdict. His trial shifted public opinion in favor of State medical marijuana laws.

Rosenthal serves as the Executive Director of Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund. Currently Green Aid is challenging the use of SWAT- team force in a marijuana arrest in Columbia, MO and the right for cannabis patients to transport their medicine in airports: www.green-aid.com.

Irvin Rosenfeld

28 years ago a Florida patient began receiving prerolled and packaged cannabis cigarettes from a United States federal government program run by the FDA. The cigarettes, produced for the government at the University of Mississippi are supplied to Irv Rosenfeld at a dosage of seven cured ounces every 25 days.

"Without therapeutic cannabis to alleviate my medical condition I would not be a productive member of society; with my medicine I am a able husband, good neighbor, working stockbroker and volunteer at Shake-A-Leg, a sailing therapy agency for the handicapped."

Irv and three other federal patients were thoroughly examined by medical professionals in 2001 over a three day period and found in excellent condition for their age and ailment.

Irv is positive the cannabis is his salvation. He should know.

On November 20, 2010 Irv will smoke his 120,000th medical cannabis cigarette. On November 21 he will smoke 10 to 12 more.

Irv is a Director of Patients Out of Time a non-profit educational charity that has taught MD's and RN's since 1995 of the clinical applications of cannabis. Please see: www.medicalcannabis.com

"My work with Patients Out of Time and my personal experience has enabled me to put in writing the story of my physical struggles, my search for help, the friends, family and colleagues in medicine and my profession who have stood by me, but mostly it is a story of and titled "My Medicine."

Craig Sahr

Executive Director

Phoenix Tears Foundation

Craig Sahr, Executive Director of Phoenix Tears Foundation and founder of Litro Technologies, LLC, Litro Grow, and also holds Advisorships to numerous Board's of Directors for the advancement of new technologies. Since its inception, Litro Grow, has become a recognized leader in the marketing and development of Natural Growth Nutrients, as well as the pursuance of cutting edge Lighting Technologies. Currently, Litro Technologies, LLC, Litro Grow, are national marketing and distribution companies. Previously, Mr. Sahr has served as President and CEO for five companies.

Dr. Alan Shackelford, M.D.

Amarimed of Colorado

Dr. Alan Shackelford has been practicing medicine foShackelford was trained in internal medicine at Harvard. He currently oversees recovery, treatment and rehabilitation of patients dealing with personal injuries, including car crash.

Shackelford recently decided to start recommending medical marijuana as a course of treatment for patients in his practice.

"Cannabis has been used therapeutically by humans for probably 6,000 years of recorded history, and used quite successfully," Shackelford said.

As of December, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) reported 820 physicians recommend medical marijuana. As of February, The CDPHE reported 63,000 people have submitted applications to be medical marijuana patients.

Dr. Shackelford would not tell 9NEWS how many recommendations he has given out, other than to say, "the total number of patients I've evaluated for medical marijuana is estimated to be less than 20 percent of the patients I've seen in the last year.

"I found a number of patients who had reached the end of their treatment and were not really able to continue taking high dose narcotics but had no other fall back," Shackelford said. "I found that the research and the clinical experience of patients with Cannabis as medicine was overwhelmingly positive, found it was a useful thing for them."

Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000. It says medical marijuana can be used by people suffering from debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and severe pain, among other conditions.

Shackelford says he screens his patients carefully and examines them thoroughly before writing a marijuana recommendation and he will not always recommend marijuana as a treatment.

"It's not different, really, in any way from the time I spend with patients in any other setting in the rehabilitation practice or nutrition support," he said.

The Colorado Medical Society is the largest association of physicians in the state. The president of the group, Dr. Mark Laitos, says the group supports recommending cannabis to patients, as long as doctors use proper procedures.

"A physician who assesses their patient and applies their skill to come up with a decision about the right diagnosis and the right treatment and then applies that to a treatment that is legal and for which the benefit outweighs the downside for the patient - we think that's good for a doctor to do that," he said.

Shackelford believes more doctors will start recommending medical marijuana in the future.

"Marijuana has its place in medicine, either as a primary treatment or an adjunctive treatment," he said. "It is ultimately about the patients whom we serve. If a prescription drug is more appropriate treatment, that's what we should do. If marijuana is more appropriate for that patient, that's what we should recommend."

According to the CDPHE, of the 820 doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations, only about a dozen write the bulk of them. In a news release, the agency cited a "concern" about whether some doctors were really following the doctor-patient procedure.

There are two bills going through the legislature that would set new standards for the doctor-patient relationship. 26 years. Medicine most people would consider traditional.

Steph Sherer

Executive Director, ASA-Americans For Safe Access

As the founder of Americans for Safe Access, Executive Director Steph Sherer has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy. Her highly acclaimed strategic skill in keeping patients needs at the forefront of the medical marijuana debate has brought safe and legal access to medical cannabis to millions of Americans. Steph is a medical cannabis patient with over fourteen years of experience servicing and managing non-profit businesses and community organizations. She is an experienced strategist, trainer, fundraiser, and organizer. During her career, she has worked with community development, education, social justice, human rights, labor, peace, social change, and youth programs. She is a forceful advocate, a skilled spokesperson, and an energetic initiator of campaigns.

Through her work at ASA, she has built a powerful organization by bringing together an exceptional staff team, prominent volunteer leaders, and thousands of patient activists nationwide. She has created the strategic framework for ASA, and, in addition to harnessing the resources to implement her vision; she participates in the organization as a patient spokesperson, an organizer and trainer, and a powerful lobbyist for patient's rights.

Steph is an international leader and expert in medical cannabis advocacy who aids in drafting legislation and advising governments around the globe on medical cannabis policy. She is a guest lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and George Washington University, DC.

R. Keith Stroup, Esq.

NORML -- National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws

Keith Stroup is a Washington, DC public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970.

Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, Mr. Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses. Stroup first smoked marijuana when he was a first-year law student at Georgetown and has been a regular smoker ever since.

Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He is currently serving as Legal Counsel with NORML.

In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, DC. In 2010 he received the Al Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice from the NORML Legal Committee.

Cheryl Shuman

Cheryl Shuman was the founder of Beverly Hills NORML, charter member of the NORML Women's Alliance and serves on the steering committee for Public Relations and Marketing on an International platform. Shuman is the Director of Public Relations, Media and Marketing for the KUSH Brand which includes KUSH Magazine, KUSH Conventions and DailyBuds.com. Cheryl Shuman has been interviewed for hundreds of television programs, newspapers and magazines, including but not limited to: Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Today Show NBC, HBO Entertainment News, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and more.

Through her personal relationships and connections with Hollywood elite, Cheryl Shuman has been named as one of the most influential women in the cannabis reform movement by international media. Her position with the KUSH brand creates the first and only company of their kind and at the forefront of entertainment marketing, celebrity endorsements, product placement integration, sponsorships, production and technology.

Mason Tvert

Mason Tvert is the cofounder and executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, popularly known as SAFER. He is also a coauthor of Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? and a member of the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel appointed by Mayor John Hickenlooper.

He coordinated the successful citywide initiative in Denver in 2005, making it the first city in the nation to remove all penalties for adult marijuana possession; the 2006 statewide legalization initiative in Colorado that garnered more than 41 percent of the vote; and the successful 2007 initiative that designated marijuana possession Denver's lowest law enforcement priority.

Under Mason's leadership, SAFER has carried out a variety of national, local and campus organizing efforts -- including the SAFER Campuses Initiative and the Women's Marijuana Movement - that have generated more than $3 million of earned media coverage in just over five years. He is a contributor to the Huffington Post and he appears frequently in national, local, and campus media, discussing the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

Brian Vicente

Brian Vicente, Esq., is a partner at Vicente Consulting, a law firm that provides legal solutions for the medical marijuana community. He also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state's leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and caregivers. He is the chairman of the Denver Mayor's Marijuana Policy Review Panel, serves on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Oversight Panel, and coordinates the Colorado Bar Association's Drug Policy Project. He was awarded the prestigious Gideon award for his free speech advocacy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention and was selected as "Freedom Fighter of the Month" by High Times magazine in 2007.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: RTD defends ads but stresses support for police, no KushConII endorsement."

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